Week 246 : Our Own Devices


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Copyright The Washington Post Company Nov 30, 1997

What do these contraptions do? Choose one or more than one, and tell us in 50 words or fewer. First-prize winner gets a genuine imitation canvas iridescent Joe Camel pool cue caddy with shoulder strap, a $50 value.

First runner-up gets the tacky but estimable Style Invitational Loser Pen. Other runners-up receive the coveted Style Invitational Loser's T-shirt. Honorable Mentions get the mildly sought-after Style Invitational bumper sticker. Winners will be selected on the basis of humor and originality. Mail your entries to The Style Invitational, Week 246, c/o The Washington Post, 1150 15th St. NW, Washington, D.C. 20071, fax them to 202-334-4312 or submit them via Internet to this address: Internet users: Please indicate the week number in the "subject" field. Entries must be received on or before Monday, Dec. 8. Please include your address and phone number. Winners will be announced three weeks from today. Editors reserve the right to alter entries for taste, humor or appropriateness. No purchase necessary. Alert reader Ann Normansell of Charlottesville (motto: "We make Podunk seem like Paris") sent in today's Ear No One Reads. Next week: Dr. Seuss Ear credit. Employees of The Washington Post, and members of their immediate families, are not eligible for prizes.

Report from Week 243,

in which we asked you to write a bad elegy to someone who died in 1997. We were looking for overly maudlin poetry, but the best entries were more witty than woebegone. So we exercised our unchecked dictatorial powers and revised the criteria. Those readers who feel cheated, please form a line to the left and someone will be with you shortly. Most painful rhyme was won hands down by Elden Carnahan of Laurel, writing about Jacques Cousteau:

"I believe my earliest memory / Was an after-school special on the sea anemone "

Fourth Runner-Up:

Jimmy Stewart:

He flew the Atlantic

And befriended a hare,

He went to the Senate

And gave them a scare

He got an angel his wings

And resurrected a plane,

But he didn't shoot Liberty Valance,

That was John Wayne.

(Dave Curtis, Ijamsville)

Third Runner-Up:

Robert Mitchum earned acting fame,

Which will be long-lasting, like the

deodorant that bears his name.

(Tom Witte, Gaithersburg)

Second Runner-Up:

Mike Royko wrote with no buts, ands or ifs.

Some anointed him "saint," some cried "heathen."

He always took the side of working stiffs

And Mayor Daley wanted to kick his teeth in.

Now Chicago's lost its jewel,

And its broad shoulders are bowed and bleak,

For Mike Royko has left his bar stool,

And not to just go take a leak.

(Jennifer Hart, Arlington)

First Runner-Up:

I feel a dull ache in my head,

And long to cry out loud, "What gives?"

Knowing Colonel Tom Parker is dead

While the man he killed still lives.

(Joseph Romm, Washington)

And the winner of the Princess Phone:

Jacques Cousteau:

The knit cap lies empty on the deck,

The once-proud ship feels like a wreck.

At his request, his last remains

Will now become the ocean's gains.

With tear of eye and roll of drum,

We feed the sharks. Farewell, old chum.

(Charlie Steinhice, Chattanooga)

Honorable Mentions:

L.O.G. for B.I.G.

Biggie died a violent death,

His body packed in a grand casket.

But B.I.G. was Notorious,

His soul left in a handbasket.

(Janet K. Galope, Bethesda; Emily Reems and Mike Phillips, Centreville and Annapolis)

Pamela Harriman:

The Lord at last has called her back

From this painful earthly trek.

Gently rustles the weeping willow

Above the departed's eternal pillow...

(Vroni Hovaguimian, Washington)

Fate was cruel to Paul Tsongas,

Now that he is not among us.

What tragic candidential luck

To have a voice like Donald Duck

(Harold Mantle, Darnestown)

You were a real man, Mike Royko,

Not like that fop skater, Elvis Stojko.

(Tom Witte, Gaithersburg)

Mobutu Sese Seko:

A man's man was Mobutu

He didn't wear no tutu...

(Paul Kocak, Syracuse, N.Y.)

Mother Teresa,

You're better than pizza

(Jennifer Wildt, Vienna; Ned Bent, Herndon)

John Denver:

... Bless this troubador,

and may you find it in ya

To forgive him for comparing

paradise to West Virginia.

(Charlie Steinhice, Chattanooga)

Duke Zeibert:

Golden chicken soup made just like mommy,

Heart of gold, too, with side of pastrami.

Duke and his restaurant, sad dedications,

We missed you both without reservations.

(Mark A. Robin, Alexandria)

Colonel Tom Parker, we loved you tender.

But now you've been returned to sender

(David Genser, Arlington)

Allen Ginsburg is planted like a radish,

For him let us tearfully say Kaddish.

(Miles D. Moore, Alexandria)

And last:

Eddie Arcaro:

You always rode win, place or show,

Your timing was so fine

With you in silks we'd always know

You'd attack the finish line.

You timed your moves in every race,

Even in death you were the best

Your final move, an act of grace,

Corking just in time for this contest

(Russ Beland, Springfield)

Next Week: Hyphen The Terrible

ILLUSTRATION,,Bob Staake For Twp

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